The first woman to climb a trad route

Hazel is one of the few women in the world pushing the limits of trad climbing. The first woman to climb a trad route at the British grade E9, and sending routes with loose rock, sketchy gear, and run-outs with serious fall potential, are testimony to Hazel’s incredible mental strength. Hazel has red-pointed grade 33 and onsighted 29, she has free climbed El Capitan three times, and has more recently extended her climbing to alpine and winter routes. Come and hear how this unassuming 25 year old keeps a cool head on the scariest of climbs.

Hazel Findlay has been climbing for most of her life, mostly trad climbing on the limestone sea cliffs of South Wales. She dabbled in competition climbing – she was the British junior champion six times – but at 16 decided to give it up to focus on climbing on rock, especially trad climbing which is her main passion. Hazel has been a full time climber on the North Face team for the last three years, which has allowed her to travel all over the world climbing cool pieces of rock.

The film ‘Spice Girl’ features Hazel on super sketchy sea cliffs and also teams up with Emily Harrington to climb massive walls in Morocco.

You’ve gotta love her classic line in the film about some gear placements:

Sometimes you put one in and you chuckle to yourself a little bit because you’re like, ‘That’s just hilariously shit, why are you even bothering?


‘Around the World and Back Again’
5.30pm Friday 17 October, Paddy Pallin Stage

“I came to Australia when I had just finished school at the age of 19 and I absolutely loved it. Despite living in the dirt of the Pines, picking vegetables to scrape by, I fell in love with the lifestyle of a full-time climber.

Now I’m back in Australia as a professional climber. I’d like to talk about some of the adventures I’ve had in between these two trips, the successes, the failures, the places and the people. Although I’ve done a lot and seen a lot in those six years my passion for climbing is still the same.”

If you’d like to learn more about having the mental strength to climb like Hazel, join her for a discussion group on Mental Training Practices for Climbers on Sunday 19 October at 3.45pm. Hazel will also be on the panel for the Hot Topic seminar on The Changing Face of Women in Climbing (Saturday 2pm). Get the chance to meet Hazel and Cedar for coffee at the Festival Cafe at 9.15am on Friday morning – a great way to start your festival weekend!


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